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Sarah Baeumler: Surprise! You’ve Been Using Rustic Finishes All Wrong

Sarah Baeumler: Surprise! You’ve Been Using Rustic Finishes All Wrong

The key to interior design is to always remain aware of the surroundings of the space you are designing. An urban setting should embrace the man-made materials and modernity that surround it. Similarly, a country setting requires a hint of rustic charm to enable it to blend with its surroundings. When we designed our current home in House of Bryan: In the Sticks I wanted to incorporate rustic finishes with my personal style. Here are a few ways that I was able to do that.

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As you might recall, Bryan and I added the wooden cladding to the walls and ceiling in our kitchen to make the structural beam a design feature. Not only did this make for the perfect separation feature between the kitchen and the living space, but it was also our chance to bring in an element of the outside. This gives what is quite a modern and neutral room a more rustic feel, and the fact that it runs down the wall and leads your eyes to the large windows and the outside world is simply perfect.

When we were choosing the materials and designs for Quintyn’s room, we wanted to make sure that he was part of the process. Quintyn has an innate love for the natural world. He is always reading and watching documentaries about the ocean and the way in which humans are impacting the natural world. Therefore it was clear from the onset that we needed to bring this passion into his room. We decided on adding barn board to the wall that his bed would go against. This was the perfect way to bring a rustic finish to his room and hopefully fuel his passion for nature and embrace it even further. I must admit that I wasn’t completely sure about it at first, but looking at it now, the room wouldn’t look right if the barn board wasn’t there.  

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It was also important for us when designing our ‘house in the sticks’ that the exterior needed to be aligned with the natural beauty that surrounded it. We still wanted the home to feel modern and be a sign of our times, but we wanted to balance that out with more rustic finishes. We did that by using natural stone wherever we could and then adding a few details that would reference nature. Bryan’s idea to make the front porch out of solid timber was the perfect way to do this. The wooden porch has now become a feature of the whole home and it makes for the perfect transition from the outside world into our home. I also added a little rustic feature to the exterior by including the rusted planters that sit just outside our garage. This is a feature that alludes to the effect weather can have on certain materials and the beauty that that can bring.

Adding rustic finishes to your home does not mean that you have to have a rustic home. If you want a modern space, you can still add a touch of nature or vintage without compromising the whole look of your home. It’s that subtle combination that gives a home a truly personal style.

Sarah Baeumler’s passion for design led her to join husband Bryan Baeumler on the front lines of his real estate and renovations business. She stars in Home to Win, and co-hosts Bryan Inc. alongside Bryan.



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